International bestseller and master storyteller Jeffrey Archer is at the very top of his game in a story of fate and fortune, redemption and revenge.
If Danny Cartwright had proposed to Beth Wilson the day before, or the day after, he would not have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend. But when the four prosecution witnesses are a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat, and the youngest partner in an established firm's history, who is going to believe your side of the story?
Danny is sentenced to twenty-two years and sent to Belmarsh prison, the highest-security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped.
However, Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne, and Toby Mortimer all underestimate Danny's determination to seek revenge, and Beth's relentless quest to pursue justice, which ends up with all four fighting for their lives,
Thus begins Jeffrey Archer's most powerful novel since Kane and Abel, with a cast of characters that will remain with you long after you've turned the last page.
And if that is not enough, prepare for an ending that will shock even the most ardent of Archer's fans.
Showing 1-5 of the 5 most recent reviews
1 . A true "can't put it down" novel
Posted September 15, 2011 by Cathy , Old Orchard BeachMy children call me a chain reader, rarely without a book. I read for entertainment and find my choices o be entertaining. Occasionally I come across a book that surpasses "entertaining" and sky rockes into "riveting" category, such is this book. From the first sentence it became a true page turner, one of the best books I've ever read!
2 . Archer doing what he does best
Posted November 28, 2009 by Mark , Red Deer, AlbertaThat is, spinning a good yarn. Sure, he's retreading an old theme a la "Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less" with the revenge angle but he is masterful at this type of thing.
I thoroughly enjoyed this from the first to the last. Archer makes you literally want to cheer for the good guys and jeer the baddies. Contrived? Yes. Highly entertaining? Absolutely.
3 . Masterful storytelling
Posted July 29, 2009 by Kevin Kim , St. AlbertI have been absolutely engrossed by this book, which can be neatly summed up as "a modern day version of the Count of Monte Christo." Jeffrey Archer's storytelling is simply masterful - it captures your attention then never lets it go. I couldn't care less about its plausibility or reality of the whole plot - if you look at it closely, you'll easily be able to identify what's wrong and what holes are where in this book - because the author's way of setting up and expanding different plots, mixing and blending them, then upgrading them to a whole different levels of redemption was what really mattered, and it was absolutely spellbinding.
Despite his rather prolific productions, I haven't had many opportunities to read this author's books - this is my first. But I'm quite certain that this will not be my last.
It was also amazing to read through the whole 500 pages within several hours. With ease. Without even noticing the sheer volume of the novel.
4 . excellent story telling
Posted January 02, 2009 by marion haughton , burlington, ontarioif you love twists and turns in your mystery reading, you will definitely enjoy this book. You will care about the characters and root for their success and feel for their failures. Reading this book is time well spent.
5 . Jeffrey is back!
Posted November 23, 2008 by PaulC , TorontoJeffrey Archer is back to his old self, albeit still weaving in his experiences of life in a UK prison. Some of the action that takes place in a prison are somewhat contrived, but if you can get past that, the characters are well constructed and credible.
This is a quick holiday read that is well paced and captures the readers interest from the very beginning. This is a book that all Archer fans will enjoy, and those who are new to his writings will find a good introduction to his style.
St. Martin's Press
March 01, 2008
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Excerpt from A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer
"Yes," said Beth.
She tried to look surprised, but wasn't all that convincing as she had already decided that they were going to be married when they were at secondary school. However, she was amazed when Danny fell on one knee in the middle of the crowded restaurant.
"Yes," Beth repeated, hoping he'd stand up before everyone in the room stopped eating and turned to stare at them. But he didn't budge. Danny remained on one knee, and like a conjurer, produced a tiny box from nowhere. He opened it to reveal a simple gold band boasting a single diamond that was far larger than Beth had expected--although her brother had already told her that Danny had spent two months' wages on the ring.
When Danny finally got off his knee, he took her by surprise again. He immediately began to tap a number on his mobile. Beth knew only too well who would be on the other end of the line.
"She said yes!" Danny announced triumphantly. Beth smiled as she held the diamond under the light and took a closer look. "Why don't you join us?" Danny added before she could stop him. "Great, let's meet at that wine bar off the Fulham Road--the one we went to after the Chelsea game last year. See you there, mate."
Beth didn't protest; after all, Bernie was not only her brother, but Danny's oldest friend, and he'd probably already asked him to be his best man.
Danny turned off his phone and asked a passing waiter for the bill. The maitre d' bustled across.
"It's on the house," he said, giving them a warm smile.
It was to be a night of surprises.
When Beth and Danny strolled into the Dunlop Arms, they found Bernie seated at a corner table with a bottle of champagne and three glasses by his side.
"Fantastic news," he said even before they had sat down.
"Thanks, mate," said Danny, shaking hands with his friend.
"I've already phoned Mum and Dad," said Bernie as he popped the cork and filled the three champagne glasses. "They didn't seem all that surprised, but then it was the worst-kept secret in Bow."
"Don't tell me they'll be joining us as well," said Beth.
"Not a chance," said Bernie raising his glass. "You've only got me this time. To long life and West Ham winning the cup."
"Well, at least one of those is possible," said Danny.
"I think you'd marry West Ham if you could," said Beth, smiling at her brother.
"Could do worse," said Bernie.
Danny laughed. "I'll be married to both for the rest of my life."
"Except on Saturday afternoons," Bernie reminded him.
"And you might even have to sacrifice a few of those once you take over from Dad," said Beth.
Danny frowned. He had been to see Beth's father during his lunch break and had asked for permission to marry his daughter--some traditions die hard in the East End. Mr. Wilson couldn't have been more enthusiastic about Danny becoming his son-in-law, but went on to tell him that he had changed his mind about something Danny thought they'd already agreed on.
"And if you think I'm gonna call you guv when you take over from my old man," said Bernie, breaking into his thoughts, "you can forget it." Danny didn't comment.
"Is that who I think it is?" said Beth.
Danny took a closer look at the four men standing by the bar. "It certainly looks like 'im."
"Looks like who?" asked Bernie.
"That actor what plays Dr. Beresford in The Prescription."
"Lawrence Davenport," whispered Beth.
"I could always go and ask for his autograph," said Bernie.
"Certainly not," said Beth. "Although Mum never misses an episode."
"I think you fancy him," said Bernie as he topped up their glasses.
"No, I don't," said Beth a little too loudly, causing one of the men at the bar to turn around. "And in any case," she added smiling at her fiance, "Danny's far better looking than Lawrence Davenport."
"Dream on," said Bernie. "Just because Danny boy's shaved and washed his hair for a change, don't think he's gonna make a habit of it, sis. No chance. Just remember that your future 'usband works in the East End, not the City."
"Danny could be anything he wanted to be," said Beth, taking his hand.
"What've you got in mind, sis? Tycoon or tosser?" said Bernie, thumping Danny on the arm.
"Danny's got plans for the garage that will make you--"
"Shh," said Danny, as he refilled his friend's glass.
"He'd better have, 'cause gettin' spliced don't come cheap," said Bernie. "To start with, where you goin' to live?"
"There's a basement flat just round the corner that's up for sale," said Danny.
"But have you got enough readies?" demanded Bernie. "'Cause basement flats don't come cheap, even in the East End."
"We've saved enough between us to put down a deposit," said Beth, "and when Danny takes over from Dad--"
"Let's drink to that," said Bernie, only to find that the bottle was empty. "I'd better order another."
"No," said Beth firmly. "I've got to be on time for work tomorrow morning, even if you haven't."